Why volunteer?

Volunteering is personally rewarding and fulfilling, but it can also help you get ahead at work. 

The benefits of volunteering can last a lifetime—not only for those who you are helping but for you as well. With busy lives, it can be hard to find time to volunteer. However, the benefits of volunteering can be enormous. Volunteering offers vital help to people in need, worthwhile causes, and the community, but the benefits can be even greater for you, the volunteer. The right match can help you to find friends, connect with the community, learn new skills, and even advance your career.

Charity work is an essential unpaid job in the world. When you do charity work, you do activities by giving your time or talents to help a not-for-profit organization or an individual to who you are not related. For some cultures, unpaid work is un-negotiable or not likely to take on a role you don’t get paid for.Let me explain a bit more about Charity in the Netherlands.

In the Netherlands, charity is seen as a combination of formal working, more or less, in line with your profession or educational background and learning in the day-to-day work at the organization. For some, it’s also a way to learn something completely new. In all cases, you don’t get paid with money but with appreciation and respect. There is space for your own ambitions and influence. Together, you try to reach the goals for the organization, just like any other organization.

According to researchers Arjan de Wit and Rosan van Niekerk, is at least 40% of the Dutch population active for charities or doing volunteer work. You will find approximately 7 million volunteers actively involved in one or even more non-profit organizations.

Others are doing work for a neighbor in need, for example. They do a wide variety of work in all kinds of sectors, based on their time, effort, tasks, and roles. Serious business Doing volunteer work is more than going to an adult playground and have some fun. You actually have to show up, and you have to deliver, you can’t say no all the time. It’s a true commitment, and people count on you. Organizations rely on your services, and they are also built on your expertise. So, be honest to yourself before you say yes to a job that is unpaid. Ask yourself some questions before you commit to something in the long term.

If you consider charity work, As an Expat Partner living in the Netherlands, you have probably faced the question of doing volunteer work once or even twice already. People around you stimulate you to do it. You can take this advice seriously but first ask yourself the following questions:

  • Could volunteer work spice up my life?
  • What type of volunteer organization suits me best?
  • What type of role is suitable for me, right now?
  • How much time and effort do I want to spend doing volunteer work (besides my job or job search)?
  • What are the benefits for both you and the organization?
  • Am I truly willing to work for € 0,00 but appreciation and respect?
  • How long can I deliver the work to the organization?

The number of options to do volunteer work is unlimited. You can donate your talents to the school of your children, your church, your favorite (online) community, your sports club, your neighborhood. For NGO’s, there are so many options here too. Or you can find volunteer work at Eindhovendoet.nl.

If you find an organization and a ‘job’ that suits you, you get a new network, appreciation, and a lot of fun back!
Volunteering keeps you fresh. With the right volunteer job, you can grow your career abilities, you increase your cultural competency, and you develop skills that could help you land a paid job in the future. You get paid in smiles, it feels good to be appreciated, and most importantly, you stay active. Having something to focus on is much better than sitting at home, where you eventually grow stale -making it harder to return to the workplace.


“Yes, volunteering is a great and powerful thing. Not only does it get you off the couch to do something positive with your time, but it can also have a pretty huge impact on your career and job search,”- says Heidi Los-Vis. She is an Expat Coach and helped internationals across the Netherlands and beyond to find their feet in a new country. Having lived in different countries for several years, Heidi knows how to restart and thrive in a new place. She is an Expat coaching Expert, a happy mum with multiple volunteer roles, and recently joined the board of the International Women’s Club Eindhoven (IWCE). If you have any questions and doubts about your new professional and personal journey in the Netherlands, feel free to contact her at heidi@designyour-ownfuture.com


International Women’s Club Eindhoven
The IWCE is a social club for International Women living in the Eindhoven area. Their mission is to ease the transition for newcomers to Eindhoven, and they have been welcoming them for more than 50 years. The IWCE also gives back to the broader community, organizing fundraising efforts, such as bake sales, raffles, and the annual Winter Market. Every year, the members select a charity of the year to which they donate the proceeds of their fundraising efforts. Additionally, the IWCE invites guest speakers from various charitable organizations to introduce themselves and promote their goals. If you want to attend one of the meetings (they take place online during Corona). Check out the website or send an email to iwceindhoven@gmail.com

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We Are Not Alone Campaign, is presented in collaboration with Expat Spouses Initiative – Eindhoven, LIVING IN , Holland Expat Center & Brainport Eindhoven. Through this campaign, we aim to bring the International community together and engage them actively.


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